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Howard waives his out to stay for next season

After saying Wednesday night he would keep his early out clause, Magic center Dwight Howard did another spin move.

Associated Press

After saying Wednesday night he would keep his early out clause, Magic center Dwight Howard did another spin move.

ORLANDO — The cloud that hovered over the Magic evaporated early Thursday somewhere in the clouds between San Antonio, Texas, and Orlando.

After months of agonizing over his future, and with the trade deadline just hours away, All-Star center Dwight Howard decided to commit to the Magic for at least one more season. He waived his early termination option and ensured he will remain with the franchise for the 2012-13 season.

"I'm glad that this is finally over with," Howard said during a news conference at Amway Center, flanked by CEO Alex Martins and GM Otis Smith.

"It's been very tough for me the past couple of months to make a decision. I've gone back and forth. It's not as easy as what people think. It's very hard when you're talking about a career-changing event, and most people wouldn't see that."

If Howard had not eliminated his early termination option, team officials said they would have traded him before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Magic officials had determined they didn't want Howard, 26, to leave via free agency this summer without anything in return.

On Wednesday night, just before a 122-111 loss to the Spurs, Howard notified team officials he would not waive his out clause. After the game, he said he should not be traded and that the organization should "take a chance" he would sign elsewhere in the offseason.

But something changed during the flight home. He told team officials he wanted to waive the out clause, but Smith advised Howard to sleep on it. Howard signed the paperwork at midday Thursday.

Some around the league scoffed at Howard's decision. Heat star Dwyane Wade tweeted: "Loyalty hahahahaha."

Regardless, Howard, who will earn $19.5 million next season, sounded relieved: "I want this city to know I love them, and I love this team and I want them to believe in us and believe in what we can accomplish."

Centers on the move in deadline deals

Nene and JaVale McGee were among the centers who found new homes before the trade deadline, though it was relatively quiet as teams were wary of taking on long-term contracts with the more punishing luxury tax rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.

Denver dealt Nene to Washington, just three months after re-signing him to a five-year, $67 million contract. The Wizards sent McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver and Nick Young to the Clippers. Washington also picked up forward Brian Cook in the deal.

The Lakers got younger at point guard, acquiring Ramon Sessions from Cleveland and sending veteran Derek Fisher to Houston. Sessions had been backing up No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving in Cleveland.

Blazers overhaul: A day after a 42-point loss to the Knicks, the Blazers fired coach Nate McMillan and named assistant Caleb Kanales as interim coach. The firing was part of a busy day that included trading veteran center Marcus Camby to the Rockets and forward Gerald Wallace to the Nets. Center Greg Oden, the former No. 1 pick, was waived. Portland is 20-23, last in the Northwest Division.

Game highlights: Kevin Durant scored 24 and the visiting Thunder beat the short-handed Nuggets 103-90. … Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 and the host Mavericks improved to 15-0 all time against the Bobcats.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Thunder 103, Nuggets 90

OKLAHOMA CITY (103): Durant 8-15 7-8 24, Ibaka 2-7 1-2 5, Perkins 2-3 0-2 4, Westbrook 7-17 7-8 23, Sefolosha 1-4 0-0 3, Harden 6-11 2-2 18, Collison 2-6 2-2 6, Jackson 2-4 0-0 5, Mohammed 2-4 0-0 4, Cook 4-8 0-0 11, Ivey 0-0 0-0 0, Aldrich 0-0 0-0 0, Hayward 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-79 19-24 103.

DENVER (90): Gallinari 6-12 0-0 15, Faried 3-8 2-2 8, Mozgov 1-4 0-0 2, Lawson 4-9 1-2 9, Afflalo 4-11 2-3 10, Harrington 1-8 3-4 5, Miller 7-9 3-4 17, Koufos 2-3 1-2 5, Fernandez 2-6 0-0 5, Brewer 2-4 2-4 6, Andersen 1-3 3-4 5, Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Hamilton 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 34-78 17-25 90.

Oklahoma City 29 21 28 25— 103

Denver 25 26 14 25— 90

3-Point GoalsOkl. City 12-25 (Harden 4-6, Cook 3-6, Westbrook 2-3, Jackson 1-2, Sefolosha 1-3, Durant 1-5), Denver 5-22 (Gallinari 3-7, Hamilton 1-1, Fernandez 1-4, Brewer 0-1, Harrington 0-2, Lawson 0-2, Afflalo 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOkl. City 46 (Durant 8), Denver 54 (Faried 9). AssistsOkl. City 22 (Westbrook 5), Denver 21 (Lawson 5). Total FoulsOklahoma City 23, Denver 19. TechnicalsOkl. City Coach Brooks, Denver three second 2. A18,458.

Mavericks 101, Bobcats 96

CHARLOTTE (96): Maggette 5-15 9-10 21, Thomas 5-7 4-4 14, Biyombo 1-7 0-0 2, Augustin 4-12 2-2 12, Henderson 5-12 1-1 12, White 1-4 0-0 2, R.Williams 3-7 0-0 7, Mullens 2-3 0-0 4, Brown 3-5 0-0 6, Walker 4-8 2-3 12, Najera 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 35-84 18-20 96.

DALLAS (101): Marion 2-8 0-0 4, Nowitzki 9-21 6-7 27, Haywood 3-5 0-2 6, Kidd 2-5 2-2 7, Carter 3-11 3-3 11, Odom 1-4 0-0 2, Mahinmi 3-4 2-3 8, Terry 6-13 3-4 18, Beaubois 7-9 0-0 14, Wright 2-4 0-0 4, Cardinal 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-84 16-21 101.

Charlotte 23 31 14 28— 96

Dallas 23 25 26 27— 101

3-Point GoalsCharlotte 8-21 (Walker 2-3, Maggette 2-4, Augustin 2-6, Henderson 1-2, R.Williams 1-4, Najera 0-2), Dallas 9-25 (Terry 3-5, Nowitzki 3-7, Carter 2-6, Kidd 1-4, Marion 0-1, Odom 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCharlotte 50 (Biyombo 11), Dallas 52 (Haywood 8). AssistsCharlotte 21 (Augustin, Walker 4), Dallas 20 (Nowitzki 5). Total FoulsCharlotte 22, Dallas 17. TechnicalsDallas three second. A20,507.

Wizards 99, Hornets 89

WASHINGTON (99): Singleton 1-5 0-0 2, Booker 5-8 4-4 14, Seraphin 5-7 2-2 12, Wall 11-16 4-4 26, Crawford 6-16 4-6 17, Mason 7-9 1-1 19, Evans 0-1 0-0 0, Blatche 2-9 0-0 4, Vesely 0-1 0-0 0, Mack 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 39-75 15-17 99.

NEW ORLEANS (89): Ariza 3-11 6-6 13, Ayon 6-11 4-4 16, Kaman 9-15 2-4 20, Jack 5-11 0-0 11, Belinelli 4-8 0-0 8, Vasquez 4-9 0-0 10, Thomas 1-4 3-3 5, Henry 0-1 0-0 0, Aminu 2-5 2-2 6. Totals 34-75 17-19 89.

Washington 28 28 19 24— 99

New Orleans 28 21 24 16— 89

3-Point GoalsWas. 6-18 (Mason 4-6, Mack 1-1, Crawford 1-7, Evans 0-1, Wall 0-1, Singleton 0-2), N.O. 4-14 (Vasquez 2-3, Ariza 1-4, Jack 1-4, Aminu 0-1, Belinelli 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsWas. 46 (Seraphin 9), N.O. 35 (Ayon 9). AssistsWas. 20 (Wall 12), N.O. 22 (Vasquez 6). Total FoulsWas. 18, N.O. 14. TechnicalsN.O. three second. A14,256.

Jazz 111, Wolves 105 OT

MINNESOTA (105): Johnson 3-9 2-2 9, Love 9-23 5-10 25, Pekovic 7-12 6-8 20, Ridnour 7-12 2-2 18, Webster 2-5 5-5 10, Williams 1-4 0-0 3, Barea 4-8 1-2 11, Ellington 1-5 2-2 4, Randolph 2-5 1-2 5, Tolliver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-83 24-33 105.

UTAH (111): Howard 4-12 2-2 10, Millsap 7-17 2-3 16, Jefferson 5-13 2-4 12, Harris 5-14 5-7 18, Bell 1-3 0-0 2, Hayward 9-17 6-7 26, Tinsley 3-5 0-0 6, Burks 6-8 3-4 15, Favors 2-9 0-0 4, Kanter 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 43-103 20-27 111.

Minnesota 20 27 24 28 6— 105

Utah 24 29 24 22 12— 111

3-Point GoalsMin. 9-27 (Barea 2-3, Ridnour 2-4, Love 2-8, Webster 1-3, Williams 1-3, Johnson 1-5, Ellington 0-1), Utah 5-13 (Harris 3-7, Hayward 2-3, Howard 0-1, Burks 0-1, Bell 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMin. 54 (Love 16), Utah 69 (Favors 16). AssistsMin. 22 (Ridnour 13), Utah 22 (Tinsley 5). Total FoulsMin. 22, Utah 23. TechnicalsMin. three second. A18,053.

Howard waives his out to stay for next season 03/15/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 16, 2012 12:36am]
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